On December 5, 2022, the Indian mission in the United Kingdom announced the resumption of e-Visa services for UK nationals. The e-Visa process enables foreign nationals to apply for and obtain a visa online before traveling to India, without the need for a consular appointment or submission of their passport. UK nationals had previously been eligible for e-Visas, but the service had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The resumption of e-Visa services will make it easier for UK nationals to visit India, as they have faced delays for regular visas. Valid purposes for an e-Visa include tourism, business, conferences, and medical visits. For business visitors, e-Visas are permitted for business meetings, recruitment, technical guidance, pre- and post-sales activity, in-house training, and other similar purposes.  

Please continue to follow updates on our blog, The Mobile Workforce

On December 2, 2022, the Canadian government announced a two-year expansion of work authorization to spouses and working-age children of temporary foreign workers at all skill levels. According to the announcement, the short-term measure is designed to address gaps in Canada’s labor market amid the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the announcement, the only family members eligible for work authorization were spouses of temporary workers in high-skill occupations. The government’s move is expected to extend work authorization to as many as 200,000 noncitizens beginning in January 2023.

Continue Reading Canada Extends Work Authorization to Families of Temporary Foreign Workers

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has introduced a new work-authorized visa category for foreign nationals. Known as the Overseas Networks & Expertise (ONE) Pass, the visa is designed for individuals considered to be top talent in business, arts, culture, sports, science, technology, academia, and research. Although details on the application process are still forthcoming, eligible candidates are expected to be able to begin applying effective January 1, 2023.

Continue Reading Singapore Creates New High Talent Visa Category

Mayer Brown’s Global Mobility and Migration practice recently hosted the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in honoring Charles “Charlie” Oppenheim for his dedicated public service over the past 43 years at the Department of State. Charlie is a legend in the field: he served as Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division from 1998 to 2021, when he retired. In this role, Charlie was responsible for determining each month the number of people who could be granted U.S. legal permanent residence (green cards) in each family- and employment-based category. This meant calculating the maximum number of green cards that could be allocated to each country worldwide without exceeding the numerical limits based upon the statutory quotas and preference system set by Congress. To provide additional insights into the process and his predictions, Charlie broadcasted “Chats with Charlie” with the Consular Affairs Press Office every month. He also regularly provided analysis regarding reform proposals to White House and Congressional representatives.

Continue Reading Mayer Brown Honors Charlie Oppenheim

On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a widely anticipated ruling upholding a district court’s determination that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unlawful. The decision has no immediate impact on current DACA recipients or their employers, as the three-judge panel stayed its decision pending further review by the district court. In particular, the district court must review a new DACA regulation published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is set to go into effect on October 31, 2022. The Biden Administration had crafted this new regulation to address the procedural concerns raised by the district court in its earlier ruling against the DACA program.

On October 14, 2022, the district court judge held a status hearing and ruled that the current version of the federal policy can continue, at least temporarily, with the limitations that are presently in place. The judge confirmed that the injunction preventing the government from adjudicating first-time requests for DACA applies to the new regulation. Thus, the new regulation will not take effect on October 31, 2022, for initial applications. The judge ordered attorneys for the federal government to provide more information on the new rule.

Continue Reading DACA Developments: Vital Information for Employers and Employees

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in the Asia Pacific region have imposed some of the world’s most stringent restrictions on international travel. As countries around the world have begun to eliminate COVID-related entry requirements on international travelers, the Asia Pacific region has been slower to return to pre-pandemic travel norms. However, that trend has now begun to change, as countries across the region have loosened or dropped their vaccination and testing requirements, quarantine procedures, and health screening protocols. Visa-free travel has also resumed for several countries, representing a significant relaxation of COVID-era restrictions.

Continue Reading Asia Pacific Countries Join Global Trend in Reducing COVID Entry Requirements

Snapshot

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the below D.C. District Court that allowing international students to work in their field of study for up to three years was within the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) authority to set the conditions of foreign graduates’ stay in the U.S.

Continue Reading D.C. Appeals Court Holds F-1 Student Visa Holder Work Authorization to Remain Unchanged

Effective October 11, 2022, the ban on short-term visas will be lifted for foreign travelers entering Japan, including for business travel.  This relaxed measure will apply to foreign travelers from 68 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.  All travelers from countries not subject to the lift on the ban of short-term visas will continue to require a separate visa application for entry into the country, regardless of purpose of travel.*

Also on October 11, 2022, the limit on the number of travelers entering the country will be eliminated entirely.  The cap on entry was recently increased to 50,000 in early September.

As discussed in prior articles, the restrictive measures have been place for much of the COVID-19 outbreak.  As the Japanese government continues to relax its entry restrictions into the country amidst a historically weak Japanese yen, the Japanese government hopes this will promote tourism in Japan and encourage spending by foreign travelers.

* Please visit this link for further information on the current entry restrictions and quarantine measures.

By the end of August, there were reports indicating that some Indian consulates and the local registration authorities in India started requiring foreign nationals seeking or holding Employment (E) visas to provide proof that their salaries were being paid or were paid in India. Most recently, it seems like the Indian government reversed this requirement. Although no formal announcement was made either as to the payroll localization requirement or the most recent reversal, the move is a welcome change for global employers, many of which choose to maintain foreign assignees on their home country’s payroll.

Continue Reading India Reverses Payroll Localization Requirement for Employment Visa Holders

Effective October 1, 2022, Singapore will only require certain applicants for work pass renewals to be fully vaccinated. Specifically, only Work Permit and S Pass holders employed in the construction, marine shipyard, or process sectors, or those staying in dormitories, will be required to be fully vaccinated to apply for renewal passes. All applicants for new passes must continue to be fully vaccinated. The announcement from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is expected to ease the renewal process for many MOM pass holders.

Continue Reading Singapore Updates COVID Vaccination Requirements for Work Passes